Rest-Play-Process-Pray

May 4, 2010

When Brady was ten months old, I found myself at a burn out point.  The adjustment to motherhood combined with working on my Masters in Pastoral Studies and a few too many commitments to teach courses and to lead various retreats had me exhausted and overwhelmed.  In December 2007, I gave myself permission to cut back a bit.  I limited my commitments, and I found four words coming up in prayer over and over again:

REST-PLAY-PROCESS-PRAY

I knew I needed to rest not only my body, but my soul too.  So I gave myself permission to nap.  I rested when I could.  I also began physically moving again.  I knew I needed to do some non-church related stuff and play.  My life was off kilter swayed heavily towards church commitments.  I gave myself permission to engage in activities that would offer balance to my life.  There had been so much transition and change in my life the last few years that I needed to take the time to process it all via journaling, spiritual direction, and sharing with my hubby and close friends.  And above all, I knew I needed to take the time to pray, to feed my soul and spirit, to build my relationship with God so that I could continue to feed others. 

Those words have not left me.  They are still part of me today.  They come into my life time and time again, often with emphasis being on one of the four words.  Right now in life, the word with the greatest emphasis for me is “play”.  I am constantly asking myself right now, “what can I do to “play” and to enjoy all the gifts of life?”  I have not, though, forgotten the other three words.  I continue to rest when I can.  I continue to process all that life throws at me.  And most importantly, I continue to pray, for praying is what roots my life.  It is where all other aspects of my life spring forth. 

Which of these four words are you called to focus on right now?  To rest? To play? To process? To pray? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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1 Comment

  1. EAurora aka Liz

    You know, I try to live by this in a way, but need to think about it this way. I generally try to ensure I have treated each part of my being mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually (and maybe that means reading, working out, having a good chat with a friend, going to Mass or quieting for Centering Prayer) each day. I like this idea, too, especially as hectic with end of semester stuff as it has been…

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